Pumpkin, eggplant, and barley braised in miso

I *think* I may have stolen this from Gourmet Traveller – at least the idea of it. Hopefully they don’t mind.

This is so easy. Definitely a colder weather dish.


1kg or so of pumpkin (I used butternut, but it’s way too sweet. Go for something else)
3 or so Japanese eggplants
1 cup of barley
3 tbs miso
3 tbs soy sauce
Bunch of asparagus

1. Slice the eggplant into 1cm rounds. Fry them in oil until brown and cooked through. Set aside.
2. Cut the pumpkin into approximately 4cm chunks.
3. Fill a pot with about 2L of water and bring to the boil (I think. I can’t remember! You need enough to boil your barley and eventually cover all of the pumpkin).
4. Throw in the barley, miso, and soy sauce. Leave the barley to cook until almost done. Top up the water if necessary.
5. Throw in the pumpkin to cook. Once the pumpkin is soft, turn down the heat and throw in the eggplant to warm through.
6. In a dry pan, brown the asparagus. Dress with salt, pepper, and olive oil, once done.
7. Check the seasoning of the dish. I find this is one that needs A LOT of salt, otherwise it’s too cloying. Add soy sauce and/or salt to taste.
8. Serve in bowls with asaparagus plonked on top. Dunking the asparagus in the miso braise it OH MY GOD SO AWESOME.

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